The 22 Homeland Security Department agencies work together to buy commonly needed equipment and purchases under a measure introduced by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Government Executive reported Feb. 1. McCaskill would make permanent the Joint Requirements Council created in 2003 and reinvigorated beginning in 2014.
“When agencies work together before making big purchases, they can avoid wasteful spending and duplication,” McCaskill said in introducing the bill. As an example, she pointed to 2013, when Customs and Border Patrol and the U.S. Coast Guard both acquired new helicopters and bought them separately. Following Joint Requirements Council practices could have saved $126 million, McCaskill said.
“The re-establishment of the JRC after many years without such an active body is a positive demonstration of senior-level commitment to improving the DHS-wide capabilities and requirements processes,” the Government Accountability Office wrote in 2016. “The JRC has the potential to help DHS reduce duplication and make cost-effective investments across its portfolio.”